Question: An open great room OR a segregated kitchen?
After many years of living in apartments and trailer homes with segregated kitchens, I always dreamed of having a large open kitchen, dining, living room combo, aka the great room. When I purchased our previous home nearly 16 1/2 years ago the kitchen was segregated. So, the dream of a great room where I would not be isolated from gatherings while preparing snacks or meals continued to be a dream.
During this relocation process our desire for a great room configuration continued. But we've never eliminated looking at homes that have segregated kitchens because, after remodeling our old house, we've discovered that we could always knock down a couple walls if necessary. Four months ago, the littles and I moved into our temporary housing with Mr.B. We are currently living in a three bedroom, 2 bath trailer home that has the great room configuration we've always dreamed of. While working in the kitchen, I am "right in the middle" of everything going on in the living room area. A dream come true, right?
NOT !!! Mr.B has, in my opinion, an addiction to television. If he is awake and a television is present, that noisy box is blaring. True crime shows, political debate programs, newscasts, hunting/fishing shows ... on and on it goes - a never ending barrage of blah, blah, blah (he doesn't even turn it off when we have guests). Now, those of you who know me personally know that I can go days, even weeks, without turning the "box" on. I like and enjoy silence. I have many interests that keep me occupied and thus, I have do not have a need to be entertained by the television. Please don't get me wrong, I do enjoy watching an occasional movie and generally, when living in S.E. Texas away from Mr.B I did make a point to catch a news broadcast every 7-10 days. Because of newspapers and free newspaper reading via the internet, I've never found a t.v. to be a necessity.
During the past 4 months, I have discovered that while a great room configuration would be nice for social gatherings, it is not practical for our family's day-to-day living. We home school at the kitchen table - the noise of the television is a constant distraction. I spend a lot of time working in the kitchen - the television is a constant distraction and annoyance. If I want to read a book, I have to isolate myself in the bedroom, if I want to read some blogs or post on my own blog, I have to wait until Mr.B is gone, so the television is not a distraction. When trying to talk with the children or have a Bible lesson, we have to isolate ourselves in a bedroom, because, again, the television is a huge distraction. And my #1 "nails scraping a chalkboard moment", trying to enjoy a nice family meal while Mr.B and the little's heads are turned to stare at the box! - I've given up trying to have a mealtime conversation.
This has been another lesson to me that we need to think through very carefully the things we wish for. I have been the driving force behind our family's desire for a great room configuration, but now that I'm living with one - I've learned that I did not realize the full implications of how negatively that type of floor plan would affect our daily lives. It is ironic that I am now very happy that the home we are currently purchasing has a large segregated eat-in kitchen. I'm confident I will find myself isolated during a few social gatherings, but regarding day-to-day living, I will welcome the quiet and isolation as the littles and I work on our daily tasks. Most of all, I will, once again, welcome daily family meal times without that blaring box.
When we first put an offer on our new home, 3 months ago, I thought this home was a 9 out of 10 because of the segregated kitchen. Now, because of the segregated kitchen, I expect our new home to become a perfect 10!